The cooling demand in our buildings is increasing. District Cooling can offer a sustainable and cost-efficient solution for the increasing demand. Attention needs to be paid to passive measures for reducing loads as a priority and subsequently to free cooling and sustainable production.
Large heat pumps and chillers are gradually being integrated into the energy system to utilize free energy sources and waste energy from low-temperature sources. A key driver for the development is the green transition in district energy. Much attention is paid to heat pumps for displacing fossil fuels in district heating. But at the same time, similar benefits can be obtained with district cooling solutions, or in the optimal case by simultaneous heating and cooling production.
The drivers for increasing cooling demand are numerous. Strict building codes help reducing heating demand in the winter but can as an unwanted side effect leads to overheating in the hot summer months. In residential construction individual cooling systems often lack efficiency and are, in many cases, impossible to implement within the increasingly strict energy code requirements. In commercial construction, the energy required for cooling is often higher than the energy required for heating. I addition we seem to experience a change in climatic conditions with longer periods with more severe temperature conditions. This calls for robust and sustainable solutions for maintaining an adequate indoor thermal environment in the warm summer periods.